Interesting update passed along by reader Nick in the comments for the post below: Chin-Lung Hu was assigned No. 17 yesterday, but is listed in No. 25 today. In between, there was some of the typical hand-wringing that accompanies every issue of No. 17 to the Koos, Limas, Lloyds and Appiers of the world, while, by contrast, No. 8 has been mothballed since 2002 in deference to Gary Carter’s enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Could this be a signal that Kevin Kierst, the Mets’ new equipment manager, will take a different route than his disgraced predecessor,Charlie Samuels? It couldn’t hurt if it was.
While I’ve never been a strong advocate of retiring numbers (I think the Mets’ cautious stance on this issue is more or less on the mark) I’d be against retiring 8 while also not retiring 17, particularly as Hernandez’ stature among fans has grown as his broadcasting career has flourished while Carter’s star dimmed amid the feeling that he was a plotting gloryhound with an appetite for a managerial coup. The issue then of course is what to do with 16 and 18, which is why the less-is-more approach is something I’ve always been behind.
That said, the wanton reissuing of 17 — aside from conforming to Met tradition before Hernandez came along — is wrong as well. I’ve long advocated that the Mets save those numbers that might otherwise be retired and issue them to players who would do them proud. I’d put Josh Thole in 8 and Ike Davis in 17 tomorrow. Hu — who like Kelvin Torve assuredly wants no part in a numerical controversy — is scheduled to meet the press tomorrow.
Rafael Arroyo, by the way, was removed from the list of coaches today.
Never too late, as far as I’m concerned, to vote in the poll predicting Fernando Martinez‘s uniform number. Although the watch was a false alarm last year, with martinez destroying it in AAA Buffalo and Ryan Church the latest Met to be suffering injury (the NY Daily News reports a trip to the disabled list is under consideration, especially while Carlos Beltran nurses a sore knee) it’s possible we could see “Fartinez” as soon as this evening.
Martinez is wearing No. 3 in Buffalo (Alex Cora occupies it here) and had 67 in spring training. The poll — pretty much neglected for months — showed some support for No. 8 perhaps as a backlash for the Mets seeming reluctance to re-issue since Gary Carter‘s election to the Hall of Fame along with Carter’s gauche politicking for the managing job.
Hey, how about that Omir Santos?
Despite Gary Carter’s assurances that he’s only a phone call away, the Mets dialed Binghamton instead Friday to call up their newest guy, Nick Evans, who’s expected to be in uniform today when the Mets continue their series in Colorado.
Evans will replace Marlon Anderson, who while fast approaching the day where the team would have to make a hard decision on him one way or another, pulled a hamstring and hit the disabled list instead.
Evans, we hear, is a right-handed power hitter who can play first, third and fake it in the outfield. He may be in the lineup this afternoon against Jeff Francis.
He’s listed as No. 24 on the Bingo roster… we’ll update you on his digits when we know ’em. … but I like Gene’s ida from thne comments in the below entry: Show Carter what you think of his grandstanding and dress him in 8.
Had a good time last night in New Jersey, where Mets by the Numbers was sucked into the awesome gravitational pull of Gary Carter, whose new book pictured here was the featured attraction at Bookends book store.
In addition to us, Dan Reilly, the original Mr. Met, was selling/signing his book as was George “Shotgun” Shuba, the ex-Brooklyn Dodger and Montreal teammate of Jackie Robinson. Both Dan — who was a Shea ticket salesman picked to become the first live-action costumed mascot and knows that Ed Kranepool was originally assigned No. 21 — and George were great, and we all owe one to Gary Carter for being Macy’s to our Spencer’s Gifts. I also got to meet longtime MBTN contributor Gordon for the first time after years of exchanged scorecards and emails.
After the crowd thinned out some we had a chance to make a gift of our book to Gary, who just as you might expect, was polite and charming and promised to read it. You can catch up to Gary at 12:30pm today at the Barnes & Noble at 46th & 5th Ave.
Tonight, the MBTN World Tour continues with a stop in my backyard, Word Books in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at 7:30 pm. The event includes Spike Vrusho, author of Benchclearing: Baseball’s Greatest Fights & Riots and is moderated by Caryn Rose of Metsgrrl. Word is located on Franklin Street at Milton, a short walk form the Greenpoint Ave. stop on the G.
The Daily News today says the Mets expect to recall Marlon Anderson from AAA New Orleans in time for the series in Los Angeles, which begins Thursday.
It will be interesting to see which number Anderson turns up in: Though he appears to favor No. 8, he wore 18 in his first time around Flushing, seeing as hois first choice at the time was quietly put aside for Gary Carter, awaiting a call from Cooperstown and managing in the Mets’ minor-league system. Now that Carter’s out and 18 is unavailable (at least theoretically, for Moises Alou) Anderson could show up wearing No. 8.
And should that happen, we’re eagerly looking forward to the straight-flush infield: 3B Wright 5, 2B Gotay 6, SS Reyes 7, 1B Anderson 8.
The Mets today sent Mike Pelfrey 34 back to Norfolk for more work and rather than recall Heath Bell, they gave Royce Ring a ring. Ring last appeared in a Met uni last summer wearing No. 22, but despite it being available again — or perhaps in deference to the memory of the recently departed Xavier Nady — Ring suited up tonight in No. 43, which belonged earlier this year to injured releiver Bartolome Fortunato. Pelfrey’s demotion is a vote of confidence for John Maine 33, and his excellent stretch of starts.
Roberto Hernandez and Pedro Feliciano both appeared in tonight’s game, wearing 49 and 39, respectively. We were reminded today of Deadline Uni Controversies of the past when reader Joseph submitted a regrettable one from 1989 — Juan Samuel’s failure to retain the No. 8 belonging to Gary Carter. Samuel settled for 7.
Congratulations to No. 8, Gary Carter, for his deserving election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Joining him is No. 33, Eddie Murray.